The book closes the gap between politicians' rhetoric, public expectations and the day-to-day dilemmas facing managers wanting to improve the quality of public services. It offers a mixture of conceptual clarification and practical awareness of the environment in which public service managers have to work. This is no 'missionary' or 'how to' book that peddles instant solutions. Instead, a variety of approaches to quality definition, implementation and measurement are critically examined. Lessons and experience from practice and research in the public and private sectors give a solid background for readers to develop their own views. Lucy Gaster disentangles the important aspects of quality, challenges assumptions, and shows that there are no simple solutions. At the same time she provides a framework to enable public service managers to develop and integrate ideas about quality in ways which are relevant to their own day-to-day practice. This framework shows that real choices are available to managers. Values and participation, combined with a real commitment to the ideal of 'public service', are at the heart of the approach adopted in this book.
It will appeal to all those wanting a more objective and informed approach to providing quality services.
"...Gaster's book is well written and thoroughly researched...providing a useful insight into the complexities of an important topic." - The Political Quarterly "This is a valuable addition to the series on Public Policy and Management.Gaster has brought together her experience and academic research in a way which is illuminating for the reader. This is a book which can be commended to a wide range of people - policy makers, those engaged in delivering public services, students of social policy and citizens who wish to be involved in determining acceptable standardsof quality in service provision." - Local Government Policy Making "Managers and students purchasing this book will obtain a wide-ranging discussion of quality directly related to the public service." - Local Government Studies "The language has a clarity which seeks to open up the quality debate to those who may be suspicious of both the 'gurus' from the world of the private sector and those academics whose debate is oftenmade inaccessible by its use of an exclusive discourse." - Critical Social Policy
Whose quality? what quality? principles of implementation the practice of implementation quality standards measuring, monitoring and evaluating choices for quality